Blog My Introduction To Writing
I’d always had a drive to perform in some way or another, but I didn’t know what to do with all that energy. I didn’t have the patience for instruments, or the money for equipment, and despite an artistic phase, I never quite got good enough to paint more than words. Somewhere in that phase however, I started writing short, rhyming paragraphs between the pages of my sketch books, and I soon began to feel more connected to the writing than the drawing.
Of course, I needed to step it up a notch. I started reading my scribbles to anyone who would listen to me, and eventually one guy told me, “That would make some good hip hop.”
Not knowing what hip hop was, I pushed him, and discovered that it was a style of music, a culture even. The people who wrote and delivered lyrics in this culture were known as rappers, so I guess that’s what I was.
With this new knowledge I went in search of more, asking anyone around me what they knew about rap. My cousin’s boyfriend mentioned the name ‘Fugees’ to me. He also just so happened to have an extra copy of their album ‘The Score’ which I gave him £5 for and took home to listen to.
It stayed on loop for at least a month straight, and I took in every part of it, every word of every sentence of every song. I didn’t understand a lot of what they were talking about, but I liked how it sounded, and saw the similarity in style to what I was writing myself. That must be it then, I’m a rapper. This led to me standing in a HMV in the hip hop/rap section feeling overwhelmed at the choice. I went from not knowing what I was writing, to finding out there is an entire culture where people use this style of writing and singing to make music. I felt an instant connection to anyone involved and felt a desire, or duty even, to work my way through as much of that music as I could.
I eventually managed to build up a collection, gaining what I believe to be a respectable amount of knowledge on this culture’s origin and history, plus the styles and topics that were commonly used. I guess all of this helped mould the beginning of the writing style I still use today. I’d been associated with this art form, and upon closer inspection, had seen my reflection.
I’ll never know if that’s a good or bad thing, but I wonder if ‘rap’ was the right route for me to go down. I don’t mean I have any regrets about my involvement in this art form, it’s given me an ability to use words in ways I never could, plus some amazing opportunities in life. What I mean is, I wonder how my route would have looked if instead of that guy telling me that my words would make some ‘good hip hop’ he’d said something else like… 'poetry' or 'short stories'.
I did later move into poetry and felt at home for a short while, even becoming the youngest person and first ever rapper to be the poet laureate of Peterborough back in 2009 when I was 23. I worked the scene for years performing to poetry audiences and delivering workshops in schools. I even turned my hand to try and write stories. I’ve written nearly 200,000 words of a book I planned to try and publish, but it may end up becoming a podcast instead. It’s about my seemingly random trip to China that ended up lasting 7 years, and dragging me through a global pandemic on the other side of the world, spitting me out with a Bachelor Degree and an almost fluent level of Mandarin.
After landing back in England at the end of 2022, myself and my friend/producer set ourselves a task. From the beginning of 2023, we decided to create and release one new and original song every week, and as I write this I can say that we’re still going strong after 25 weeks.
No matter how many ways I try to write, rap still feels like where I’m most comfortable. These days I find myself trying to sing too, and even though I don’t have the voice, I can’t help attempting to place little melodies where they seem to belong. Maybe it doesn’t matter how it started or how it’s labelled, maybe the important thing is creating art when you can enjoy the process and feel pride or validation in the end result. The ability to remove negative thoughts from your mind onto paper, crafting those thoughts so impressively that the result is a positive response... well, that’s a beautiful thing.
Check out our weekly songs, the YouTube channel is ‘mixyric’ (wouldn’t it be cool if you’re reading this in 2024 and we’re still going). I release a vlog every Wednesday too, and don’t use any bad language so it’s suitable for all.
I was initially lost for an idea when it came to writing a blog, but on reading back, perhaps all I really need to do at this point is introduce myself…. yep, that should do it.
Check out Mixy's 'How Do You Create A Poem' info sheet that helps you understand how he gets writing!Published: Fri 23rd Jun 2023